Rutgers special teams coordinator Vince Okruch’s second visit to Cumming, Ga. was a more comfortable one. Unlike his first visit to see Forsyth kicker Alex Barbir, Okruch’s return trip came with fewer questions and more answers.
Okruch visited Barbir in December when he was coach Chris Ash’s only hired assistant. Now with a full staff, the visit came with a stronger message.
“I think it went very well,” said Barbir, who committed to Rutgers before the coaching change. “Coach Okruch came down here and he just let me know all about what they planned special-teams wise – when they’ll kick the ball deep, pinning inside the 20 [yard line], punting, field goals. He reassured me on anything that I had questions about and it went very well for me.”
Ash completed his coaching staff Sunday with a running backs coach in the mix. The focus now comes to weekend official visits and in-homes with top targets.
Ash expressed interest in a Sunday in-home with Barbir but a scheduling conflict delayed the visit.
“Coach Ash was going to be coming but he had planned to come Sunday,” Barbir said. “I had my football banquet this past Sunday night, so coach Ash wasn’t able to come. He will be coming in the next week or so.”
Okruch made strong statements about special teams during interviews with the press last week. He reinforced the belief with Barbir.
“That’s very important for me,” Barbir said. “For a quarterback to see that or a linebacker or a safety, it’s equally important for a kicker to see that special teams is a priority.”
Barbir officially visits Rutgers this weekend.
“We talked about having all of the admissions paperwork ready for me so I can get that done immediately,” Barbir said. “He was very excited for me to get up and meet the new staff because now they have their full staff after the hiring of Jafar Williams. He’s excited for me to get up and see how high energy that coach Chris Ash is and how different they are from other staffs.”
Barbir looks forward to his first meeting with Ash, which likely comes Friday upon his arrival to Piscataway.
“I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating [to not meet him yet] because I know he just got hired and he has so much on his plate more than I could even think of,” he said. “I understand that not everything is going to work out. … I think [today’s visit] definitely made me feel better. I already felt good about it but it’s just improving every time I talk to coach Okruch.”null